This site is a novice builder’s attempt to create a resource for intelligent people with excess time that wish to get the biggest bang for their buck when it comes to Saving Sustainably and building their own home. These days, most people spend the vast majority of their income on housing, especially those that wish to live in a large metropolis with short commutes to work and endless options for friendship, entertainment, and cuisine. These dwellings consume vast quantities of gas, electricity, and water, which only add to their high price tags. The supplies of these resources are finite, and their exploitation tends to cause pollution and hardships for wildlife. Building a water and energy efficient home is the number one way a person can save a ton of money and help the environment at the same time. The problem is that building a house seems like an insurmountable task for the average person. It seems to take an entire army of trades to get the job done, with plumbers, electricians, roofers, framers, masons, and on and on and on. I am setting out to prove that conventional wisdom wrong.
I’ve used the last 9 months to acquire some basic construction and design skills, and in the process I’ve realized the dirty truth that the average house is not constructed very well at all. The entire industry focuses on getting the job done as quickly as possible and using paint and drywall to cover up the lack of attention to detail. Just think about it, every contractor out there is paid by the job rather than by the hour. Their method of payment influences them to cut as many corners as they can get away with. Since the majority of problems with houses aren’t discovered until several years after their completion, it has become relatively easy for them to get away with completing shoddy work. The drywall crew and painters come by and cover it all up, and homeowners wonder why their heating and cooling bills are so high, why it is so easy for insects to move in with them, and why they can hear and smell everything from the next block over. The answer is simple. If you peel back the paint and drywall from the average home, you will find a house that is more of a Swiss cheese than an impenetrable, protective haven. The workmanship is so bad in many cases, that I’m willing to bet that anyone willing to invest their time in attention to detail can do a better job. What’s more, is they can do it far cheaper, and can customize their home as much as they want.
DISCLAIMER: I am an unlicensed beginner. This site is meant to be a resource, not an instruction manual. I volunteered several months of my time to acquire some basic safety, design, and construction skills, and anyone looking to build their own home is strongly advised to do likewise. Keep in mind that building codes vary from country to country, state to state, and even county to county. The laws that pertain to the construction of my home may vary substantially from the laws that pertain to your specific building lot.